Search Results For "pinnacle"


Pinnacle Systems has announced PCTV To Go, a placeshifting device similar in functionality to the Slingbox. Monsoon Multimedia, the maker of the HAVA placeshifting unit, is an OEM for Pinnacle. Both models retail for $250.

In related news, I’ve had prototypes of both the Pinnacle and HAVA box (as seen above) for a month or so and have been pleasantly surprised with their performance. I also have a Pinnacle Systems PCTV HD Stick waiting to be unwrapped. So stay tuned for reviews in the near future!

Pinnacle Systems writes: Avid Technology, Inc., today announced that its consumer division, Pinnacle Systems, Inc., is expanding its popular Pinnacle PCTV product family with the addition of Pinnacle PCTV To Go. This new product gives customers the ability to enjoy their home entertainment systems from any location in the home or around the world. Easy wireless setup, integrated Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition (MCE) support and comprehensive digital video recorder (DVR) capabilities make Pinnacle PCTV To Go a must-have for anyone interested in watching high quality TV shows, sporting events, movies or news on a PC, anytime, anywhere.

Pinnacle PCTV To Go enables consumers to watch full resolution, DVD-like quality in MPEG-2 while viewing television in and around the home, or high quality MPEG-4 while viewing television remotely, with nothing more than a simple internet connection. Designed to quickly plug into an existing entertainment system, the product acts as a pass-through device and eliminates the need for reconfiguring the entertainment system.

Channel Master just unveiled an $89 “smart” antenna, featuring “seven different reception patterns.” And I had the same question as you – what does that even mean? So I rang up VP Joe Bingochea to get some answers.

It turns out the company has partnered with Ethertronics to integrate a variant of their “active steering” technology, also implemented within Samsung handsets for years and years. The amplified SMARTenna+ incorporates a tuner and some digital circuitry that will automatically scan the airwaves at first power up and then polarize the antenna elements for max receptivity – in this case, they’re going with the highest channel count as the preferred “pattern” (and presumably, in case of tie, higher quality signals would prevail). However, Channel Master recognizes your favorite channel may be an outlier, so the button on the bottom of the antenna manually steps through those patterns, should one need to fine-tune… in the literal sense. As an analogy, Joe reminded me of those old, powered rabbit ears that sported a dial.

Of course, the pinnacle of this technology would be a bundled antenna and set-top to match optimal “pattern” with currently tuned channel on the fly – something it turns out Sezmi had actually implemented back in the day and something Channel Master may look to in the future. Continue Reading…


Looking for a Slingbox alternative? Belkin could have you covered when they launch @TV next month. Like Slingbox, Belkin’s upcoming $150 hardware relays audio and video from your DVR or other set-top to computer or mobile around the house or anywhere the world. Computer and iPad or Android tablet viewing software will be free, but the smartphone client will run you $13.

While it’s not clear if this hardware actually streams in HD, it’s entirely apparent who’s producing the box for Belkin… as I turned up this very same Vulkano product via FCC filings last fall. Further, a quick Google search of “Belkin” and “Vulkano” points us to Android Marketplace and iTunes App Store clients (that have been active for months). Monsoon, the maker of Hava and Vulkano, has been down this OEM path before with Pinnacle and Linksys — and here’s to hoping they have better luck with Belkin’s brand awareness and retail shelf space. Assuming consumers are still interested in roll-your-own placeshifting given all the mobile media alternatives. Continue Reading…

Can’t Trust The Cloud?

Dave Zatz —  July 6, 2011

As we increasingly construct virtual identities and migrate our digital possessions into the cloud, it’s a worthwhile exercise to periodically reflect on these increasingly amorphous services. And my top two concerns are security and dependability.

On the security front, my guiding principle is an assumption that just about any host can and will be hacked. Which is why we turn to encryption for additional layers of defense. Unfortunately, some companies offer insufficient protection or overstate their capabilities. For example, it now appears that cloud file storage and sharing provider Dropbox embodies both. Whereas the company originally claimed user files were encrypted in such a way that even employees couldn’t access the data, it turns out encryption is handled on Dropbox servers and they maintain the encryption keys. Meaning, yes, employees can and have accessed user data… leading to a FTC complaint. Additionally, a recent service update inadvertently left all Dropbox accounts without password protection for about 4 hours – a startling development. Is Dropbox unique in their shortcomings? Continue Reading…

I spent some quality time catching up with the Hava team yesterday. They make a line of placehifting products that compete with the Slingbox. And like the Sling of old, Hava’s not afraid of taking on big media. In fact, they’re really rolling the dice and tempting fate by introducing Sociable TV. Taking an entirely different approach than Sling’s yet-to-be-seen online archiving and sharing service (Clip+Sling), Hava will enable Hava owners to share live television feeds (or DVRed content) via a web portal. To a select group of friends. Or, to the entire worldwide population. Sociable TV is slated to arrive mid-year, assuming the studios, networks, or lawyers don’t intervene, and will include other “sociable” features such as friends list, text chat, and content starring.

Like everyone producing mobile software, Hava’s also got an iPhone client in the pipeline. It’s looks pretty far along in development, and they expect to have it up in the iTunes App store within just a month or so. The app features a very basic remote control interface, but you’ll get your all of your home television on the go in both portrait and landscape modes. Unlike Sling’s mobile software, all of Hava’s mobile software is free of charge. Continue Reading…

Elgato EyeTV Hybrid Unboxing

Dave Zatz —  April 19, 2008

Since I’m notoriously slow writing up reviews, I’m harnessing the power of my still unreviewed yet highly relied upon Eye-Fi with the quirky but efficient WordPress 2.5 image gallery functionality to at least get some photos up of my latest goody…

I’ve been contemplating replacing one of my TiVo units with an HTPC. And I’m not very familiar with the EyeTV DVR software package, so Ben put me in touch with Elgato to learn more. I had planned to test the software using my Pinnacle USB HD stick, though they suggested pairing the app with their most current tuner. The primary drawback in using the Mac platform to power a HTPC is being locked out of Microsoft’s protection scheme — which would hurt most in giving up Netflix Watch Now. (Until they offer a cross-platform Silverlight client?) I suppose I could always console myself with Hulu. But I’ll have a better idea what I want to do after I get EyeTV installed and running on my MacBook Pro for a few weeks.


Both Mari and I have a Pinnacle PCTV HD Pro Stick, though neither one of us is currently using it. However, don’t let that deter you… If you have a need, this is a decent product and a decent price (refurb): $45 shipped via Woot. In addition to using it with Pinnacle’s software, I believe it’s also successfully powered my Windows MCE and BeyondTV. The antenna is nicer than you generally find with these devices and I’ve used it with other products, such as a Miglia review loaner. What they don’t show in the picture, but you’ll hopefully get, is a little USB dongle of composite and SVideo inputs – which comes in handy for displaying or recording alternate sources.